Lord Ashdown has accused the government of failing to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states which he said were funding jihadism.
He said that David Cameron must examine financial links between UK-allied Gulf regimes and terror groups, or risk facing awkward questions about Conservative Party links to “rich Arab Gulf individuals”
The former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown said: “Who is arming ISIS, who is providing safe havens for ISIS? To get there you have to ask questions about the arms everyone’s sold in the region, the role of Saudi Arabia in this. I think there are some very big questions and we have to be careful”
He said there had been a “failure to put pressure on the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to stop funding the Salafists and Wahhabists,” and said he is worried “about the closeness of the Conservative Party and rich Arab Gulf individuals.”
He hinted the strategic priorities of the UK in Syria are the wrong way around. “I think we should be impatient about the removal of ISIL and I think we should be more patient about the removal of Assad.”
Ashdown’s calls for a proper investigation into terror funding by the West’s Arab allies echo, to some extent, those of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking to the House of Commons last Wednesday, the Labour leader urged Parliament to take more action to clamp down on institutions which provide “vital infrastructure” to the terror group in Syria and Iraq.
Corbyn said one of the main ways to stop IS from functioning is to cut off its resources, suggesting the EU would also need to play a part in suffocating the organization.
In this video Jonathan Pie says: ‘Ask your govt if it supports countries who fund ISIS’